People often talk about the power of love. Love has become synonymous with happiness and success. We want to be surrounded by the people we care about, and we want to chase after the dreams our hearts tell us to pursue.
Less often, we talk about the power of death. Fear of death and fear of grief make looking at death hard. It’s like staring at the sun. We know the sun is there, but it hurts to look at it directly. We know that death is a part of life, but it hurts to think about.
Death is both attractive and terrifying all at once.
Death is why I was so intrigued with the new Thai BL Dear Doctor, I’m Coming for Soul. And with only two episodes released thus far, it is already doing precisely what it promises. It’s coming for my soul.
Starring Nut Nutchapon as Doctor Prakan and Karn Kasidej as the soul reaper Tua Phee, Dear Doctor offers a refreshing change of pace from the Thai BLs of the past, diving into a supernatural forbidden romance between a doctor trying to save lives and a reaper tasked with taking them.
As a fan of Nut and Karn from their previous work Grey Rainbow, I went into Dear Doctor with high expectations.
I wasn’t disappointed.
A lot goes into making a supernatural romance work, particularly the acting and the special effects. Both are surprisingly coming through for this series. While I expected the acting to be good, I didn’t hold as much hope for the effects. Obviously, the studio is limited on what it is able to do, but it’s playing up what it can do. And I’m impressed with that.
I’m even more impressed with the story.
Okay, I get it. The first episode ended with the accidental ‘fall on lips’ trope viewers either hate to see or love to experience. But, aside from that, Dear Doctor is surprisingly real.
No televised medical drama is a hundred percent accurate. The only way for that to happen is for a series to be written, directed, and portrayed by real-life doctors. But what Dear Doctor does from the offset is take viewers into the human side of death and love, into the emotional turmoil of working a job that faces you day in and day out with the one thing most of us fear: Death.
And it doesn’t require a medical license to understand that kind of fear or helplessness.
Dear Doctor doesn’t focus on romance. It focuses on human emotion. Because of that, it’s more powerful. At least for me.
The main characters are developed well. Doctor Prakan is a seemingly cold, noticeably stressed physician who can see the soul reaper, Tua Phee. It’s already difficult enough to do a job where you hope you can save people’s lives, but attempting to do so while death stands visibly in the room with you would be enough to shake anyone. Actor Nut Nutchapon does a great job portraying that unraveled state of mind.
In contrast, the soul reaper Tua Phee takes viewers on a fascinating in-depth look at death itself. A scene in Episode 2 particularly touched me. Tua Phee sits next to another reaper after reaping the soul of a man known for robbing and taking advantage of others. In the end, the robber waited to make sure the EMTs found his organ donor card before allowing his soul to pass on. In a candid moment, Tua asks the other reaper why the robber would do this.
The reaper answers, “Nobody wants to be a bad guy, if people can choose. Those who are prosperous, they can be good people easily. But for those whose lives are f*cked up, they can’t choose anything.
But in death, they can choose to be good. The scene hit me hard because I’ve been in that place where being good wasn’t a choice. When I was young, my family lived below the poverty level. And when my father abandoned us, my mother, my twin, and I lived briefly on the streets. I won’t talk about the choices my mother had to make to get us off of those streets, but I will say that life doesn’t often offer us options. It simply offers a dead end. For those who live financially and emotionally well off, it can be hard to understand that lack of choice and desperation.
I like that Dear Doctor isn’t ignoring these things, that it’s taking a show with death as the central theme, and it’s putting some real stuff and real emotions into a bigger romantic storyline.
It’s evident that Tua Phee has known Doctor Prakan since the doctor was a child, and it’s going to be interesting to see how they are connected as the story moves forward.
I’m excited about this drama, and I hope it maintains the pace and momentum it’s at now. Dear Doctor is handling its ensemble cast well. I’m just as curious about the role each doctor, patient, and reaper plays in this as the love stories growing out of it.
Hospitals, like any workplace, are full of drama. From greed to fear to compassion, it’s a place made for television because it’s full of everything we fear as a people but also full of professionals we hope will save us. Professionals we sometimes forget are people, too.
Thus far, I am impressed with Dear Doctor, I’m Coming for Soul, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.
To watch, check it out on iQiyi or the Studio Wabi Sabi YouTube Channel.
Rating- 4 out of 5